Want to hear the snare shell? Use a snare wire with less strands. Your experience?

striker

Well-known Member
I was watching a clip on YouTube about old snare drums. One of the topics that they discussed was about snare wires. They suggested that if we want to hear more of the shell sound but still have the snares engaged, then it is better to use a snare wire with less strands. What they said made perfect sense to me. After all, you can hear a pure shell sound by just disengaging the wires. Some drummers choose a particular snare drum shell material (birch, steel, bronze etc.) because they like to hear that specific sound from that specific shell material.

My steel snare drum came with a 14 inch PureSound 30 strand wire. I changed it to a13 inch PureSound 20 strand snare wire - less snare length and less snare strands. My ears are not well trained and sensitive like an experienced drummer, but I feel I hear more rings from the steel drum.
 
Also, this according to the article in the Drum Magazine:
"We did some studies and found that if you use 16 wires you get approximately 50 percent drum sound, 50 percent snare sound,” DeBasc says. “With 20 wires you have more snare sound than drum sound, and 24 increases the snare sound even more. Those general guidelines allow you to manipulate the sound of your snare drum."

https://drummagazine.com/a-few-words-about-snare-wires/

Also, this from Sweetwater web site. I guess the case is settled. Less wires, more shell sound.
"So if you prefer a slappy, white-noise sort of attack, more strands is your best bet. On the other hand, if you like a more prominent shell tone, fewer strands may yield the sound you're after."

https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/P1316--puresound-custom-series-snare-wire-13-inch-16-strand

So, I guess that settles it
 
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I was watching a clip on YouTube about old snare drums. One of the topics that they discussed was about snare wires. They suggested that if we want to hear more of the shell sound but still have the snares engaged, then it is better to use a snare wire with less strands. What they said made perfect sense to me. After all, you can hear a pure shell sound by just disengaging the wires. Some drummers choose a particular snare drum shell material (birch, steel, bronze etc.) because they like to hear that specific sound from that specific shell material.

My steel snare drum came with a 14 inch PureSound 30 strand wire. I changed it to a13 inch PureSound 20 strand snare wire - less snare length and less snare strands. My ears are not well trained and sensitive like an experienced drummer, but I feel I hear more rings from the steel drum.
That is so right I had a 20 strand on my Yamaha absolute maple snare and cut 5 strands to 15 and I immediately noticed a difference in the resonance to a warmer sound but still sensitive and a nice crack in going to do it to my Ludwig 402 to test.
I was watching a clip on YouTube about old snare drums. One of the topics that they discussed was about snare wires. They suggested that if we want to hear more of the shell sound but still have the snares engaged, then it is better to use a snare wire with less strands. What they said made perfect sense to me. After all, you can hear a pure shell sound by just disengaging the wires. Some drummers choose a particular snare drum shell material (birch, steel, bronze etc.) because they like to hear that specific sound from that specific shell material.

My steel snare drum came with a 14 inch PureSound 30 strand wire. I changed it to a13 inch PureSound 20 strand snare wire - less snare length and less snare strands. My ears are not well trained and sensitive like an experienced drummer, but I feel I hear more rings from the steel drum.
 
I prefer fewer wires on my drums, usually 14 or 16 strands, though I've used as few as 12 before. For me fewer wires still sounds like a snare drum but the drum is much more articulate and has better tone because the wires aren't choking the head and can be adjusted fairly loose.
 
Does anyone have any suggestions for a 13 inch wire with 20 or less strands? Gibraltar sells a 13 inch 20 strand wire for about 9 dollars and change, but it has gotten mixed reviews.

I just noticed that what I put on the 14 inch snare is a 13 inch 20 strand PureSound Blaster wire. I decreased the strand count and length but I used noisier strands.

I prefer fewer wires on my drums, usually 14 or 16 strands, though I've used as few as 12 before. For me fewer wires still sounds like a snare drum but the drum is much more articulate and has better tone because the wires aren't choking the head and can be adjusted fairly loose.
Yes. Good point. That is another point about high strand wires that they mentioned in the clip. They said that large number of wires that are pulled tight to the head could choke the resonant head and that affects the snare sound.
 
Does anyone have any suggestions for a 13 inch wire with 20 or less strands? Gibraltar sells a 13 inch 20 strand wire for about 9 dollars and change, but it has gotten mixed reviews.

Drum Factory Direct has both a 12 and 16-strand wires for 13" drums. Either one is $8-ish, so I'd suggest just getting both. I use their wires on three of my snares and I like them quite a bit.
 
I used to run 12 strands and they really sound great on my Walnut drum, but unless it is mic'ed, I don't feel like 12 strands are really heard over the band. I had an unmic'ed show with the 12 strand, but my recording from out front sounded like I had the snares off all night.

If it were me, I would run 14" if you're putting them on a 14" drum. The reason is, they're going to chew through snare side heads and that gets expensive.

Edit: Whoops! I see you've already ordered the wires, so my opinion is late. Anyway, I know you're going to dig the sound of the 12 strand on your drum!
 
I used to run 12 strands and they really sound great on my Walnut drum, but unless it is mic'ed, I don't feel like 12 strands are really heard over the band. I had an unmic'ed show with the 12 strand, but my recording from out front sounded like I had the snares off all night.

If it were me, I would run 14" if you're putting them on a 14" drum. The reason is, they're going to chew through snare side heads and that gets expensive.

Edit: Whoops! I see you've already ordered the wires, so my opinion is late. Anyway, I know you're going to dig the sound of the 12 strand on your drum!

Thanks for the feedback. If 12 strands does not work, then I will change to 14 or 16. It is just trial and error.
 
I put a 10 cent sticky gel pad between some of the wires and the head on the bottom of my snare. I know, not fancy. (but I am still tuning to figure out what sound I like best)
 
I've always been an advocate of cutting out a few strands from the middle of a set of wires. It helps to reduce the sympathetic buzz and helps to bring out the shell tone but it doesn't decrease sensitivity. When I first started experimenting with this I cut strands off the ends, this brought out the shell tone but did nothing for sympathetic buzz and decreased sensitivity. Cutting a few out of the middle helps on all accounts.
 
I've always been an advocate of cutting out a few strands from the middle of a set of wires. It helps to reduce the sympathetic buzz and helps to bring out the shell tone but it doesn't decrease sensitivity. When I first started experimenting with this I cut strands off the ends, this brought out the shell tone but did nothing for sympathetic buzz and decreased sensitivity. Cutting a few out of the middle helps on all accounts.

The Puresound Equalizer is a 14/13 inch - 16 strand snare wire that does the same thing. There are 8 strands on two edges and the middle is empty.
 
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I have no idea what this would do or sound like but I was always curious about using two big fat wires instead of a bunch of small ones. Like imagine two bass strings for example. I don't think anyone makes this so it probably would be a DIY job.
 
The Puresound Equalizer is a 14/13 inch - 16 strand snare wire that does the same thing. There are 8 strands on two edges and the middle is empty.
I'm familiar with those but never tried them. I'm a huge proponent of puresound though with blasters being my go-to so I'm sure the equalizers are also great.
 
I'm familiar with those but never tried them. I'm a huge proponent of puresound though with blasters being my go-to so I'm sure the equalizers are also great.

Canopus also makes wires with lower number of strands. Why is their price higher? Are Canopus wires more quiet than other wires and they do not have that extra buzz sound?
 
Not to be pedantic or a contrarian here but less snare wires doesn't mean more shell sound, it simply means less snare sound.

In practical terms in a worst case scenario if you have a non-resonant or a substandard shell due to it's inherent design or a defect, less wires won't give you more shell sound, it only reveals it more.
 
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